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The demise of daily supply?

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by ellenlilymay, Jan 20, 2020.

  1. ellenlilymay

    ellenlilymay New commenter

    Like others I've only had about a dozen days' work since the beginning of this academic year and so in the end I asked my agency why this is.

    I was told by a senior staff member of the agency concerned that daily supply has been hit in their experience due to a number of funding-related strategies that schools use, which will come as no surprise to you but here goes:

    Schools are increasingly using unqualified graduates straight from university who they can pay the minimum wage or similar. Obviously this compares extremely favourably to a normal teaching supply rate, or even that of a cover supervisor, when you factor in the agency fees.

    Academies, which in some areas are highly prolific, are employing cover supervisors, sometimes on zero-hour contracts, and share these individuals amongst member schools across a region. This again results in agencies not getting the work.

    Some agencies are placing qualified teachers in as cover supervisors, to undercut other agencies.

    Frequently schools are not accepting qualified teachers who have QTLS, such as myself (25 years' teaching experience) which results in these individuals being paid at cover supervisor rate.

    From what this person was saying and from my own lack of work, I would say that the only way supply teachers can compete is to do long-term supply. The daily supply market appears to have been reduced to placing anyone with a pulse in front of students and expecting the impossible. Food for thought on the future, in even a year's time, on the sustainability of daily supply. Again this is as informed to me recently by the head of a supply teaching agency.
  2. Jolly_Roger15

    Jolly_Roger15 Star commenter

    I know a few would-be supply teachers, me included, who dream of getting a dozen days supply in a term!

    As you say, day-to-day and short-term supply work has almost completely dried up. Doing long term gigs is the worst all worlds, though. You can end up doing a a full-on teacher's job for CS pay.
  3. timson6

    timson6 New commenter

    Since about 2002, certainly in primary schools, when the government changed the rules so that unqualified people could teach classes in exchange for implementing PPA time, there has been a gradual drift toward the use of LSAs and HLTAs. Financial restraints on schools in the last year have exacerbated this demise in daily work for qualified supply staff.
    Just wonder how the multitude of supply agencies are coping with the shrinkage of demand for their services.
    ellenlilymay likes this.
  4. BertieBassett2

    BertieBassett2 Star commenter

    I suppose the long term work keeps them afloat.
  5. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    This is just not true.
    The general supply cost through agency to a school is £200 per day and over.
    The general CS cost through own books to a school is quite a bit less than half that amount.
    Schools are not saying that they want to reduce their costs that much that they need to simply have a pulse in the room. Because somebody who profiles that way can bring additional workload to subject heads and pastoral staff.
    There is a void between the two extremes which is waiting to be filled by supply teachers offering to work on independent service contracts and who specialise in subject or key stage.
    Get out there and approach them.
    It gets me that so much guff is being followed which agencies spout. Of course they will tell you that schools are cutting back.It is a precedent for them to offer lower rates as more and more supply teachers think this is all they can get.
    If you want to do supply,get yourself onto schools'books in your name and enjoy the freedom and decent money that goes with it. Whilst schools also enjoy a saving.
    creid191 and JohnJCazorla like this.
  6. Jesmond12

    Jesmond12 Star commenter

    I told my agency today that I was giving up supply as I have just secured a full time job outside of education.

    They did say that they had several long term placements available but I don’t want the responsibility of daily planning and marking.

    I do think day to day supply is on the way out.
  7. BertieBassett2

    BertieBassett2 Star commenter

    Ah, you kept that quiet, Jezza! Do tell....
  8. Jesmond12

    Jesmond12 Star commenter

    Have a look at the Supply thread BB. I must admit that I am really looking forward to it.
    BertieBassett2 likes this.
  9. BertieBassett2

    BertieBassett2 Star commenter

    Another wasted morning waiting for a call! When I saw the fog outside part of me hoped I wouldn’t get a call....
    Am now back in bed with tea and my book!
    BetterNow, ellenlilymay and Jesmond12 like this.
  10. Jesmond12

    Jesmond12 Star commenter

    I did get a call but it was in a school that I would not return to. I politely declined.

    Have a good day BB.
    BetterNow and BertieBassett2 like this.
  11. BertieBassett2

    BertieBassett2 Star commenter

    Well - just had a text asking if I can do a day at a school 15 miles away - I’m afraid I said no as I’d given up on getting work an hour ago!
    Such is the unpredictable nature of supply.
    Jesmond12 likes this.
  12. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    We had fog today as well - it lasted all the way to work.
    BertieBassett2 likes this.
  13. Jolly_Roger15

    Jolly_Roger15 Star commenter

    Why do agencies do this? You get a call at 8:15, asking if you could get to a school twenty-odd miles away, through rush hour traffic, by 9:00? What do they expect you to do? Saddle up a cruise missile?
  14. cathr

    cathr Occasional commenter

    Yesterday's conversation with my main agency:

    Agency (8:20am): HI! Are you free today? You are needed in Cathschool for P1 to P3, they have a bit of an emergency.

    Me: Sure I can go there, but at this time of day I can't predict the traffic so it will take me at least 50 minutes.

    Agency: great, thank you, I'll tell the school you will be there before 9:00.....
    creid191 and BetterNow like this.
  15. ringlets

    ringlets New commenter

    Response of the year right there!!
  16. ellenlilymay

    ellenlilymay New commenter

    Thoroughly agree - I got a call once at 9.45am expecting me to go 40 miles each way. I was out walking the dog at the time, miles from home, as likewise I'd given up trying!
    BertieBassett2 likes this.
  17. a1976

    a1976 Occasional commenter

    I don't understand the logic of agencies calling and asking a person to call just for one lesson (sometimes the very last lesson of the day). Any takers on that scheme?
    creid191 likes this.
  18. Deirds

    Deirds Senior commenter

    I did sometimes agree to do Afternoon lessons in a school some distance away. It was an architectural marvel. Doubly unusual in that it was a new build and actually worked. And they did pay a bit extra .
    creid191 likes this.
  19. ms honey

    ms honey Occasional commenter

    I think with a late call they're just glad that someone shows up, I was still in bed this morning at nine when the phone rang, got there just before ten
    BertieBassett2 and Jesmond12 like this.
  20. BertieBassett2

    BertieBassett2 Star commenter

    I had a day at my favourite school - got the phone call just before seven and at the school by eight. My first day’s work this term!

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